05-18-21

My dad didn't pick up
when I called his cell
at the hospital
this morning.
I eventually talked to a nurse
who said he couldn't remember 
the pin to unlock the phone.
My dad does not have memory issues
and while sometimes selective
he remembers with steel.
I told the nurse
this wasn't normal for him
but maybe he had that chemo fog
my girlfriend has
from treatment over time.

Christina did me yet another kindness
and picked up 
tamal en casuela from the Cuban place
and I took it to him that afternoon.
He had some
and let me set up the iPad
so he could watch baseball
but had trouble with certain words
and at the end of the night told me
"La computadora no esta buena"
and tapped on the right side of his head.
"Maneja despacio
y cuidado con las curvas"
was the last complete sentence
he spoke to me.

05-16-21

One Saturday
you walk into your dad's hospital room
and
as you touch
the skin
of his liver spotted forehead
and wonder if it's been like that
or if they're not cleaning him
you realize
you hadn't visited
for a couple days
not because you didn't want
to argue with or upset him
but
because
this might be the beginning
of losing
the man who 
chipped and carved at you
till you were mostly useful
withstood the barrage of your youth
and then waited
how did he know
to tell you he was proud
over the phone
as you sat in the grass
of your front yard
with your two year old boy
in the warm spring sun
thinking
oh this will be
forever.

04-23-21

Construction. 
Lot of stuff at work. 
My dad. 
Son and Woman. 
I usually write at night. 
But this week
by the time I hit the bed 
I just want to watch 
a YouTube vid 
or read a comic 
and let the darkness
skullfuck my eyelids down down down. 

They replaced the AC today. 
There’s dust everywhere, man. 
And that machine
is blowing it
into my every
single hole.

04-20-21

My friend asked
what is my Knight's Code
and it doesn't make a little sense 
to me
because a knight seems 
a militaristic sort of fellow
yet we hold knights in this regard
kind of like Jedi
but they got trickconscripted
into a galactic war.

But I believe in

Don’t skip in lines. 
When out in the world 
be mindful 
of how you affect others. 
It matters 
when people say they are affected 
by certain things 
but we should also strive 
to be strong 
and weather the hard things. 
Know that life’s not easy. 
Try to look for the beauty. 
Let bad people fail 
but try to be stronger than them
and help them sometimes 
but don’t enable 
them too much.

Try not to judge 
on the wrong silly things.
Try not to give up
especially on you. 
Get sad. 
Walk away. 
Beat yourself up a little. 
Always try to come back.

04-16-21

When I was in college
my dad would never
come home after 9pm or so.
One Saturday night
it's 9:30 and he's nowhere
and this is before cell phones
so I call the golf course
where he works and there's nothing.
Eventually one of his friends
rings me up to tell me my dad 
has been arrested
but everything is fine.
There's a buddy he sells golf balls to
and he's a lawyer
just show up at the jail tomorrow
to pick him up.
So I have this
bomb that goes off
in my head 
if I get a call from my dad 
too late in the evening.
And these days
he calls me late
just to tell me stories
he forgot to relay
about his day
at the cancer clinic.
Tonight, it was about
a lady that takes requests
and sings to patients
and he reenacted it
with his gravelly 
screechy voice
how she sang
"Besame Mucho"
but he was so happy
and
I wasn't scared
for a bit.